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2.06.2018

12 remarks on the BBC's "Catalonia's bid for independence from Spain explained"

Here are twelve remarks on The BBC's article "Catalonia's bid for independence from Spain explained" (31 January 2018)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-29478415

"The 2008 financial crash and Spanish public spending cuts fuelled local resentment and separatism". 

--> The root cause was the humiliating 2010 constitutional court ruling on a regional Constitution ratified in a referendum.

"There is a widespread feeling that the central government takes much more in taxes than it gives back."

--> This is not a "feeling": official sources and institutions across Spain agree on a net annual outflow of €16 bn!

"...full referendum on 1 October 2017, which was also declared illegal by Spain's constitutional court." 
--> Unconstitutional, yes (but only the Spanish government refused to authorise it despite multiple requests). But it was held in compliance with a detailed Catalan law.

"Organisers said 90% of voters backed a split. But turnout was only 43% amid a boycott by unionists."
--> Even without a boycott (Unionists knew they'd lose) those voting YES were a historic high. Despite the police brutality.

" Using the Article 155 emergency powers, Madrid dissolved parliament, sacked its leaders and called a snap election for 21 December."
--> Under Spanish law only the #Catalan president can dissolve the parliament, dismiss the government and call elections. So Rajoy acted against the law (and Constitution).

"The regional election result was a landmark in the nationalists' long campaign for independence. It proved - legally - the strength of support for their cause."
--> Well the previous election, on 27/9/2015, was also legal! This time those voting for independence were another historic high.

"...President Carles Puigdemont campaigning via self-imposed exile in Belgium". 
--> What do you mean by self-imposed? When is exile not self-imposed? Ask my mother's family!

"But analysts believe Cs would struggle to form a viable governing coalition." 
--> These analysts need to brush up their arithmetic.

[Rajoy's] conservative Popular Party (PP) had a disastrous election, winning just three seats.
--> They won four. Out of 135. They have for decades been widely seen as an anti-Catalan party.

"The direct rule he imposed in October is supposedly temporary, but for the time being he will keep control of the region."
--> No. The direct rule measures, according to the plan accepted by the Senate, will be dropped as soon as the new government is appointed.

"If the separatists do ever manage to split away, it would be hard for Catalonia to win recognition internationally."
--> Catalan leaders have been clamouring, pleading for negotiations for 7 years, and Madrid has hitherto refused. When the sovereign debt and pension scheme crises burst, surely it will be bullied into sitting down at the table with Catalonia as equals.

"Generations of people from poorer parts of Spain have moved there for work, forming strong family bonds with regions such as Andalusia."
--> These strong family bonds pre-existed! And hundreds of  thousands of their descendants fully support independence on pragmatic grouds.

"During this crisis, the Catalan economy has suffered. Thousands of businesses, including major banks and energy firms, have moved their headquarters out of the region." 
--> This smacks of Unionist propaganda. The Catalan economy has flourished despite Madrid's efforts to the contrary, including dragging its feet over investments essential for economic growth such as the  Mediterranean freight corridor. True, Madrid has helped over 3,000 firms to change their registered office address, but this has not led to job cuts or affected Catalonia's GDP..



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